"Fort Aubry, Kansas Dugouts"
on the
Santa Fe Trail

     The site of Fort Aubry is located in a 120-acre parcel along a spring fed branch of the Arkansas River, east of the present day town of Syracuse, Kansas. A description of the Fort published in the Rocky Mountain News in January of 1866 said in part:

     "The men are quartered in half underground caves, dug and built in the bank of a little spring branch about 300 yards from the Arkansas River. The only other buildings put up are of adobe, or sod, covered with earth. They are quite comfortable, but not very stylish in appearance."
     (The Beginning of the West by Louise Barry 1973: 195-196)

     The land adjacent to the stream is presently being used as pasture, and has three areas that contain visible features. These features are concentrations of depressions, a midden area, and an area labeled a "hay yard".

     There are three clusters of dugout depressions. Two clusters are located on top of opposite banks of the stream at a point near its source where it makes a loop to the east. Eight depressions are located on the north and seven on the south side of the creek. Approximately 100 meters south of these clusters is another consisting of a double row of depressions on the east side of the creek. Each row contains eight depressions.

     Fort Aubry, a U.S. military outpost of brief duration, was established in 1865 near a dependable spring just north of the Arkansas River and on the Santa Fe Trail.

     The Fort Aubry Site is on "Private Property" and should be treated as such!




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